Santorini tomato fritters are a great meze (appetizer) as part of lots of other starters to share, or served with a few green leaves as a starter in its own right.
The recipe for this dish (see below) comes from the new cookbook of Irini Tzortzoglou, the 2019 champion of MasterChef U.K., one of the United Kingdom’s premier cooking shows which garners up to 5 million weekly viewers during its season.
Tzortzoglou’s book “Under the Olive Tree” is a stunning and user-friendly collection of delicious Greek family recipes, stories and wisdom from the author herself.
The Crete-born chef includes accessible, everyday dishes for the home cook, as well as an entertaining section full of tips and tricks for when you have extra time or want to impress your guests.
Not only is Tzortzoglou a fabulous cook, but she is a great teacher who cannot wait to show readers the dishes of her beloved homeland. With more than 80 recipes, “Under the Olive Tree” is this chef’s celebration of Greece.
Her book covers meals for all occasions — from breakfasts to quick dinners via salads full of sunshine, to feasting for Christmas, Easter and dinner parties.
“These recipes represent me as a cook and diner in that I like to experiment a little in putting flavors together, mixing classic combinations with my own touches,” Tzortzoglou says.
Makes about 15 large fritters which is equivalent to four starter portions.
- 3 medium sized tomatoes on the vine
- 3 sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, finely sliced
- 1 tsp tomato puree
- 1 medium white or red onion, finely chopped
- ½ a small courgette, cut in small dice
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 bunch of mint, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp dill or fennel, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 egg
- 250g plain flour
- 125 ml water
- Olive oil or sunflower oil for frying (or a mix of the two)
For the yogurt dip
- 250g yogurt
- ½ lemon, juice and zest
- ½ lime, juice and zest
- A few fennel flowers or 1 tbsp chopped fennel or chopped dill
Wash and trim the tomatoes. Slice and cut in small dice, discarding the seeds and transfer to a bowl. Add the tomato puree, sun dried tomatoes, onions, courgette, mint, dill or fennel and the egg. Season with salt and pepper.
In another bowl, whisk the flour and the water to a batter and add to the tomato mix. Mix well with your hands. The mixture should not be runny but should hold together.
Bring a large frying pan with plenty of oil to a high heat. The oil should be enough to cover the fritters completely. Using a thermometer, drop spoonfuls of the mix into the oil when it reaches 340 Fahrenheit / 170 Celsius.
Cook for 3-4 minutes till golden moving them gently around to color and cook evenly. If you find that the fritters break up in the frying pan, you may need to add a little more flour to your mix.
When the fritters are cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper before serving.
To make the dip, just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.
About Irini Tzortzoglou
Available for purchase via The Pappas Post Bookshop
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